My mate Gus was out one day;
Someone asked ‘Do you know the quickest way
To Highgate Cemetery?’
‘You bet I do’ said Gus
As he pushed the poor fellow under a bus.”
There are lots of reasons for visiting Highgate Cemetery in North London. Here are just a few of them.
It’s a final resting place for many literary folk, among them Douglas Adams, Alan Sillitoe, George Eliot, Pat Kavanagh and William Foyle (who founded Foyle’s with his brother Gilbert).
Then there’s this avid reader.
Poor Harry Thornton didn’t survive the flu pandemic.
I expect you know who Malcolm McLaren was, unlike the couple nearby who thought he had something to do with double buggies.
Pop artist Patrick Caulfield plays a visual joke on the headstone.
But Jeremy Beadle goes all serious with books.
There are war graves, mainly from World War One, and a 1930s monument to the London Fire Brigade. There’s also one very bad boy.
You were expecting the big man? Oh, all right. Here you go.
Funny how the communist gets the most lavish tomb, dwarfing those around him. Souls of lefties gather round, among them historian Eric Hobsbawm and Iraqi Communist leader Saad Saadi Ali, while a little further away lies Philip Gould, architect of New Labour.
See? Ali is left-leaning even in death.
We were not alone, as we soon discovered.
These days you can still be buried in Highgate, though space is at a premium. The impressive statuary is packed close.
We’d only visited the East Cemetery, but, as the sun began to set, it seemed time to leave…